February 13th, 2013
06:29 PM ET
10 months ago

Paul endorses filibuster of Hagel

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he thinks a filibuster of Chuck Hagel's nomination for secretary of defense would be appropriate.

The conservative Republican from Kentucky said in an interview to air on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" that his unanswered questions on Hagel – particularly speaking fees Hagel received since leaving the Senate – rise to the level where he might set a roadblock to the former senator's nomination.

"If they're not going to give us the information, the only way to get the information is to threaten to hold them to a higher standard of sixty votes," he said in the interview.

Paul joins Sen. John McCain, whose spokesman told CNN earlier Wednesday that he is reconsidering his previous pledge not to block Hagel's nomination.

McCain "is not calling for a filibuster in the sense of stopping the nomination cold," Brian Rogers explained to CNN. He added that McCain and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte are "entitled" to answers on questions about the Benghazi attack which they have been asking for months, and it "should be very easy for the administration to answer."

Earlier in the day, Paul said in a statement that he would block the nomination of John Brennan to be President Barack Obama's next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

"I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered," Paul wrote in the statement. "I will not allow a vote on this nomination until Mr. Brennan openly responds to the questions and concerns my colleagues and I share."

Paul said in the CNN interview Wednesday that he generally deferred to the president – even one with whom he disagrees on policy about nominees.

"My inclination has been - even though I'm a conservative Republican - to give the president the prerogative to decide who is in his Cabinet. I voted for John Kerry even though politically I don't agree with much of anything Kerry represents as far as a U.S. senator, but I think he's an honest person," he said, noting the recent confirmation vote for Kerry as secretary of state.

But the situation with Hagel is different, he said.

"My first inclination was to give him the benefit of the doubt," he said, noting that Hagel had "served honorably, he was wounded in combat" as a soldier.

"I'm starting to have some doubts and my doubts are that if you're going to run the Department of Defense, you really need to reveal if you've had financing from foreign groups," he continued. "There's all kinds of rumors all over the internet about foreign groups that may have provided financing and I think he needs to reveal that, and so I am one who is saying, yes, I do need a little more information before making a final decision."

– CNN's Kevin Liptak, Ted Barrett, and Dana Bash contributed to this report


Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Rand Paul
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Gadsden Gurl

    True colors, shining through. Rand Paul = NEOCON!

    February 13, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Gadsden Gurl

    Neocons.. all of them.

    February 13, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Bill

    These Republicans just do not know when to quit. They lost and can not handle that fact and are hellbent on still trying to stop the president at every turn. Here is some free advice for these clowns in LaLa land – it will not help you win elections or garner support from the American pepole. Get over it and do what you were elected to do – - pass legistation.

    February 13, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. marty

    Methinks that Mr Paul is getting a little too much air in his head since becoming a senator. In all his wisdom he would fire Hillary Clinton, who is a tad more experienced than he. I can hardly wait to hear words of wisdom from Ayn Rand's protege', Mr Paul, to Chuch Hagel about wars, defense and obligations.

    February 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Jim Hahn

    One more nail in their obstructionist coffin. The GOP really has a priority problem and a PR problem. They can't seam to deal with the fact that the question doesn't matter to anyone else but them and by obstructing the President at all costs, they seem ready and willing to accept their role as a minority party for the foreseeable future. Michelle Bachman has a better chance of getting into the White House than Rand Paul.

    February 13, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. Maynard

    Tea Party Dolls want to torpedo America.

    February 13, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. plain&simple

    Has Paul Rand ever read what's on the internet about him. I've heard this senator use it as a source before. He must believe everything he reads because it's on the internet!!

    February 13, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. larry5

    Did Obama give him permission to say all this?

    February 13, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Blocking Hagel's appointment for partisan reasons without legitimate cause is damaging to the dignity of the US Senate and sets a bad precendent. This is not going win many converts for the Republican/Tea Party.

    February 13, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. ghostriter

    "I'm starting to have some doubts and my doubts are that if you're going to run the Department of Defense, you really need to reveal if you've had financing from foreign groups," he continued. "There's all kinds of rumors all over the internet about foreign groups that may have provided financing and I think he needs to reveal that, and so I am one who is saying, yes, I do need a little more information before making a final decision."

    Ummmm.....there are rumors on the internet? Providing financing for what? What are the sources? Since when do we accuse without evidence?

    Funny, you voted for a guy with foreign funding. I guess it's OK to president, just not the DOD. Who reports to the president.

    February 13, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. anonoymous

    Dont beg for votes when we the people can see that you only have self interests.

    February 13, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. DENNA

    Freakin' Ding Dong. He should be cleaning the halls of the Senate, not sitting in a seat there.

    February 13, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    This nation needs Fillibuster Reform.

    February 13, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Natalie

    Obama could pick Jesus to any of these posts and the GOP would still cry foul. What a bunch of worthless a~holes. They don't give a damn about this country, only their special interests.

    February 13, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. Jeff O'Dette

    Rand is a moron. VOTE HIM OUT!!!!!!!NOW!!

    February 13, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. The REAL TRUTH...

    "There's all kinds of rumors all over the internet about foreign groups that may have provided financing and I think he needs to reveal that"

    Perhaps the POTUS should use executive order to expand the investigation to include every member of Congress, the SCOTUS, the Super PAC's and all those in either Party that "may" have had financing from foreign groups based on what's posted on the Internet. With all due disdain Mr Paul... get a life. We know you are trying to get name recognition for your impending Presidential bid, but this – along with the McCain, Imhofe, Graham attempts – is pure political theater. Where was the indignation over ANY ONE of the 18 "terror" attacks that occurred under the prior administration. Oh wait.. that was when the POTUS was a Republican.. doesn't count.

    February 13, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. Davis Miller

    The self-importance and small-mindedness of Mr. Paul astounds me.

    February 13, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  18. Mike Texoma

    The Republican Party needs to begin to understand that Rand Paul may be its worst enemy.

    February 13, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  19. roro

    Pooh on you, Rand Paul. Your grandstanding and behavior at Hillary Clinton's hearing was disgraceful. And now you're going to grandstand further with the president's choice for Secretary of Defense. It's Obama's cabinet and he should be able to work with the people he wants to work with. I don't know who the heck you think you are, but you are a bigot and a disrespectful excuse for a US senator.

    February 13, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. Fierce Badger

    Rand Paul personifies why Government is broken. I just cancelled my trip to Kentucky.

    February 13, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. jane

    Rand Paul is a weasely little brat (apologies to the weasel community) who would be a manager of a Dennys in Kentucky if his daddy weren't rich and famous.

    February 13, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It figures. He doesn't really understand enough of what is going on and is too driven by his ideology.

    February 13, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  23. independant jim

    the world watches as irrelevent self important Republicans in the US Senate continues to tear our country apart so they can have their 15 min in the spot light

    February 13, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. Larry L

    All you need to do is to google Rand Paul's quotes and you'll see how absolutely $h!+ house rat crazy he is. He is dysfunctional as a Senator – a throwback to an age when only white men called the shots.

    February 13, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. yogi

    Republicans know no shame, they will easily filibuster the nomination, even if it is used for the first time in history for a nomination. There is little decency left in the GOP, what a sad party it has become.

    February 13, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
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